Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yoga and Creativity

My daily practice has transformed me physically and spiritually, but also creatively as well, which has been an unexpected but much welcomed bonus given my profession.


 Who would have guessed that yoga and creativity are inextricably linked?  

I am so grateful to my fantastic teachers at Exhale for helping me see this.  The two paintings below are just a few that would not have come to fruition if not for their loving guidance.

And You Will Rise Up Like the Sea
will be on display at my upcoming 4/16 show at Elle Realty in Lakewood.

So how are yoga and creativity connected? After all, one is a physical and mental discipline, and the latter a manifestation of innovative thoughts and ideas. But what seems like the ultimate mismatch, is in fact deeply entangled. 

Both have lead me to a newfound way of thinking and seeing the world.

The Secret is the Love,
currently on display at the Lovers Lane Antique Market

Yoga has deepened my mental awareness. The meditative aspect of yoga helps eliminate unnecessary thoughts cluttering the mind, freeing up valuable imagination real estate. When my mind is clear, ideas flow easily and freely. The best inspiration comes from a calm mind that is free of constant distraction. My practice has helped me "grow up" mentally and gain the confidence to express my ideas.
The breathing techniques I practice in yoga also help me keep unnecessary distraction and negativity at bay. A mind free of dark thoughts breeds clever ideas without playing devil’s advocate and dismissing what may be constructive or worthwhile ideas.
Yoga also makes me mindful and subject to a higher plane of  thinking (thinking about thinking) when in the process of creating. The importance of this is that I am constantly made aware of the background, possibilities and limitations of my work.  Everywhere I look I see the art in's almost as if a veil has been lifted and the universe is revealing its beautiful secrets to me.  It's like I am tapping into an unused part of my brain for the first time.
Yoga has helped me surrender my ego and give into the creative process. One thing that severely hinders the creative process is the need to control it. Drop the ego and immediately one is less defensive, more open minded and more creative.  This is something I work on every day.
This enhanced focus my practice gives me is one of the reasons I have chosen to practice yoga early in the morning. I feel more centered and productive during the day. Yoga calms me and aids me in concentrating on what matters and shifts the focus to my art.
It's important to realize that creativity needn’t necessarily be painting, sculpting or writing a novel, one can be an artist in the smallest of his or her endeavors from doing chores to planning out an afternoon. People are creative when the things they do are executed with passion, imagination, a sense of humor or a new approach.  Namaste!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hecho En Dallas

So excited my paintings, "Connected" and "Detached" (above) were selected to be featured in the Hecho en Dallas Exhibition, currently on display at the Latino Cultural Center in Deep Ellum.

Hecho en Dallas
Exhibition is open until April 29, 2011

Hecho en Dallas 2011 features 46 artworks by 42 artists from Dallas and North Texas and includes a variety of themes and media. Over 100 artists submitted more than 300 artworks for review, making this one of the most popular juried shows in the history of the LCC. One reason this show is particularly significant to me is that two years I submitted some pieces, but they were not selected to show, and this year it was very special to receive notice that I was accepted. It really demonstrates the progress that is being made on this little creative journey that I'm on. 

The jurors for Hecho en Dallas 2011 were: Marty Ray, Professor of Ceramics and Sculpture and Art Programs Coordinator at North Lake College and founder of the White Rock Lake Artists Studio Tour; Elizabeth Mellott, professor of Photography and Book Arts at Collin College; and Awadh Baryoum, professor or Drawing and Painting at the Creative Arts Center of Dallas.

Me and my mom at the opening reception.  Mom is an Artist herself, specializing in custom murals, and has always been my biggest cheerleader.

I love watching people look at my paintings at openings.  Kind of stalker-ish? Maybe, but I could have literally sat here all evening and observed people looking at my paintings and the feelings it evoked in them.

Detail of "Detached"
The 8th Annual Hecho en Dallas (Made in Dallas) is a juried exhibition designed to showcase the recent work of professional artists who reside and are active in the artistic environment of the Dallas area. The exhibition is presented annually by the Latino Cultural Center in recognition of the talented pool of artists whose creative endeavors give vitality to the cultural movement in North Texas.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Private Art Lessons

Teaching art to children and watching them create is a never-ending well of inspiration. Their inhibition is amazing.

So proud of N & his sister E, ages 10 and 12. They have been taking private art lessons with me on and off for several years and we recently delved into Picasso and his Cubist period.  They were inspired to create their own Cubist self-portraits, which I think turned out amazing.

Their mom had very specific color schemes for them to work with in mind because these are going to be presented to their Dad at his surprise 50th B-day party this weekend and will hang int their living room.  Mom has been planning this party for months, leaving no detail to chance, but there is no doubt their masterpieces are going to steal the show.

"Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Do not claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be silent. "  - Rumi

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New Painting, "Window to the Soul"

Some of my most loose and free forays on the canvas are happening in the studio right now. It is a very exciting time.  It feels incredible to bear witness to one's own be present in the moments when it's happening.

This painting is sold. For that I am so grateful. Fine art prints are available for online purchase on my Etsy site.

These colors are just my absolute favorite. Some detail shots are below.

"The eye is the window of the soul...
Now do you not see that the eye embraces the beauty of the whole world?
... It counsels and corrects all the arts of mankind...
It has measured the distances and sizes of the stars;
it has discovered the elements and their location..."
Leonardo Da Vinci

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday's Other Creative Soul: Casey Weigand

As a creative person myself, I love learning about what makes other like-minded people tick. Thanks for joining me today as I interview fellow Dallas-based Painter and Mother of itty bitties Casey Weigand. Casey is a beautiful person inside and out, and I feel certain she's a creative kindred spirit.  Make sure to stop by her  Blog, she's having a great giveaway!

Name/Location:  Casey Wiegand: Dallas Texas

Education: Early Childhood Education degree from Baylor University

Tell me about your work in one sentence: "Free" and abstract!

Describe your normal day. My normal day is waking up early with the two little ones... we make breakfast and get ready for the day. We usually try and have a playdate or outing in the morning. (if it's warm we head to the pool!!!) Then we eat lunch and go down for naps (if i am lucky their naps will overlap and I will have some time to paint, return emails and blog.) When they wake up we usually "create" together (my little guy loves loves loves to paint) and play outside until dinner. Then dinnertime as a family when my husband gets home...then the night routine...baths, prayers, snacks, a little more playtime then bed! After the kiddos are down Chris & I usually watch a movie or finish up any work that didnt get done! Sometimes I will paint really late at night when everyone is alseep. My ideal day would look a lot like kiddos are my world and I love that my days revolve around them. They won't be little for long so I am trying to soak up every single second. 

What are your passions? My passions are first God, then my family then my art and sharing my life/my story with anyone who is interested. 

What are your goals? I would love to write a book someday and a silly dream is to be able to completely support our family on my art. Maybe a big gallery, I am no where close to that yet...but a girl can dream right?!

Who are your creative influences? My greatest influence is my husband Chris. Not only is he insanely creative & talented himself....but shortly after being married he encouraged me to do the Dallas City Arts Festival; it would be my first art show. I was nervous and insecure, it was a juried show and truthfully I felt a bit silly to enter. God moved in my life a lot that weekend...I sold 11 paintings and won a jury award. He confirmed that my passion could also be my profession and it has been an incredible ride ever since!

Is there anyone that you really look up to as an inspirationI love not necessarily who these people were but their art: KlimtKandinsky & Picasso. Very inspiring. 

What motivates you on a daily basis?  Nature and music. I look at the world through an artists eyes. I am always noticing shapes, colors and the way things move and flow.... and music always will inspire me to paint. If I have a good playlist going, i can get a lot done! 

What's your working style?  I take lots of breaks. my art is all about layers so I may have numerous pieces going at once....layers and layers. Plus I dont have tons of time to paint these days with two kids under the age of two...I just take what I can get!

What are your websites/social networking links? 


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Young Housewife, by William Carlos Williams

"La Bella Vita"
Fine Art Prints available 

The Young Housewife 
At ten AM the young housewife
moves about in negligee behind
the wooden walls of her husband's house.
I pass solitary in my car.

Then again she comes to the curb
to call the ice-man, fish-man, and stands
shy, uncorseted, tucking in
stray ends of hair, and I compare her
to a fallen leaf.

The noiseless wheels of my car
rush with a crackling sound over
dried leaves as I bow and pass smiling.
by William Carlos Williams

Monday, March 14, 2011

Newly Commissioned Painting, "And Then Came the Day"

36" x 48" x 1.5"
Oil and Mixed on Canvas

"Everything in life is pointing us back to our true nature." 
-Stephen Cope

I was so happy to create this painting for the Niemeic family. Maggie, who I have known and loved since high school, has always been a bit of a poet and dreamer herself...that's part of the reason I think we became friends. We just "got" each other and to find a friend who gets you is a priceless gift. It was a pleasure to collaborate with her on this piece because she was looking for something to fit a specific space and was interested in my abstract cheery blossoms. However, she wanted to incorporate some aquas/turquoises into the mix as well as excerpts from some treasured writings she had collected over the years.

Her request could not have come at a better time because I have been dreaming of painting something like this for quite a while.  Similar blossoms to what I have been loving to create lately but with a totally different color scheme. The colors have been dancing in my head and I love to incorporate the written word into my the words lie under the images, barely visible to the naked eye, yet so essential in creating the text and the meaning of this painting. I write in my paintings as a literal means to process my feelings and emotions and express them through my art. Now in this painting Maggie was able to do that with me. I am so grateful for her giving me the opportunity to bring this image to life.

Detail shots are above and to the left. As always, if you want info about a custom piece, just email me.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Painting, "My Kingdom Awaits"

24" x 48" 
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas
This painting will be featured in my upcoming Art Show next month. 

"I’m coming home
I’m coming home
tell the world I’m coming home
Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday
I know my kingdom awaits and they’ve forgiven my mistakes
I’m coming home, I’m coming home
tell the World I’m coming

Back where I belong
I’ve never felt so strong 
feeling like there’s nothing that I can’t try
and if you feel me put your hands high "  -Diddy/Gray/Cole

Finished up a new piece.  Who's to say hip hop music can't inspire?  I love the energy this song gave me while playing in the studio. 

The soft bright colors reflect the Spring Fever that has taken over our household.  I always imagine myself walking through these forests I paint, and in the midst of getting lost in this one I couldn't help but think of  the beauty that awaits when we truly arrive home...wherever that may be, maybe for some it's literal and for others it's only a feeling, a metaphor. When we truly realize our full potential, our dharma, our abundant life, and the sacredness of each present moment we can see that it's all so beautiful, even the sad parts. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Another Creative Soul: Jocelynn Schneider

As a creative person myself, I find it fascinating to learn what makes other like-minded people tick.  Thanks for joining me today as we get to know Cleveland, OH-based Photographer Jocelynn Schneider. Her no-frills, natural light approach is gorgeous.  Here, in her own words, she tells us how she sets the table for her muse....

I Studied Visual Communication Design and Photography at Kent State University. Currently continuing my studies in Art & Graphic Design at Cleveland State University. And, of course, my life experiences have educated me even more than any schooling ever could. 

My "normal" day includes either going to work as an activities leader at a nursing home...or going to school at CSU as an art student. It also includes lots of social media and text messaging, I'm addicted. My "ideal" day would be full of free time, creativity, success, people that I love to be around, and sunshine. 

Passions. Hard question! I'm still figuring that out passions are people who do big things. I love hearing people's stories, how they overcame the obstacles in their lives and what they do day in and day out to make it work. I'm also passionate about food and cooking. Cooking is seriously a spiritual experience for me. No matter what cards my day may have dealt me, if I can get home and cook a great meal, I'm happy. I love photography - showing others how I see them; making the mundane glorious. Typography. Antique books. Yoga. Oh, yoga. See my blog post about it at Food. Wine. Just let me eat, drink, and be merry. 

Goals! One of my goals is to be more goal oriented. :-) Seriously, though...I'm trying to organize my life. To pay attention to the things I really want and the things that really define me. Things in my life could range from items in my wardrobe to my free time, to the people I spend my time with. I'm trying to get my priorities straight and surround myself with big ideas, action and positivity. 

My creative influences are definitely Audrey Hepburn, and Martin Luther King Jr. They are high and lofty in the creative sphere to me. Diane Arbus. I love her photography. I am also wild about the work of Noa Azoulay-Sclater who founded Feather Love Photography, check her out at Oooh, and Tara Gentile at Scoutie Girl. Her blog is chock full of inspiration and creative business savvy - Last but not least, there's a recording studio in Cleveland run by a friend of mine. The raw creativity and edge of this place gives me the chills and constantly reminds me that with hard work and diligence, your dreams can become reality. Check them out at

I've had a lot of childhood experiences that have shaped who I am. Delightful things and really difficult things. I think the most creative time of my life was spending my summer in my grandfather's woods and gardens. There was so much imaginative play and fresh vegetable eating. You can't go wrong with either. 

Influences - Audrey Hepburn. As I mentioned before. She's such a classy lady, you can't help but want to be like her! There's really no explanation needed here. I also love old musicians such as Otis Redding and Billie Holiday.

Some experiences that have shaped me are my exposure to typography and letterpress work at Kent State. It was like I entered this nerdy world that I would never escape. When I meet someone else who is equally enthralled with the curve of an 'a', the hook of a 'y', serifs and sans serifs, kerning and tracking...I am on cloud nine and could talk for hours. The typographers that produced the characters that we use to express our language day in and day out are truly unsung heroes. 

When it comes to my "muse" or "guilty pleasure", I'd have to say it's social media. Particularly Twitter. I love to see what others are doing creatively and I love to share it.  Tweet, tweet, retweet. I also really love watching Glee. 

My working style. Well, I'm totally sporadic. One day, you might find me plugging away for twelve hours straight. Another day, I'm useless and lazy. And another day I am off an on. It really just depends. I must admit, I am very ruled by my moods, feelings and emotions. This is a strength and a weakness!

My official website for my photography is I'll be sure to let Gina know as soon as it's up! You can find me on Twitter @ohjocelynn, on Facebook @ and my blog...of course, my blog... 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Poem for Wednesday, "Tomorrow"

Oil and Mixed Media in Canvas
Fine Art Giclee Prints available online here.


Cigarette smoke hanging on
in the living room. The ship's lights
out on the water, dimming. The stars
burning holes in the sky. Becoming ash, yes.
But it's all right, they're supposed to do that.
Those lights we call stars.
Burn for a time and then die.
Me hell-bent. Wishing
it were tomorrow already.
I remember my mother, God love her,
saying, Don't wish for tomorrow.
You're wishing your life away.
Nevertheless, I wish
for tomorrow. In all its finery.
I want sleep to come and go, smoothly. 
Like passing out of the door of one car
into another. And then to wake up!
Find tomorrow in my bedroom. 
I'm more tired now than I can say.
My bowl is empty. But it's my bowl, you see,
and I love it.

by Raymond Carver

Gina Marie Dunn, Utopia Pkwy. Art Studio's Fan Box


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